If you’re involved in some form of contact sport then the use of a mouthguard is a top priority to protect your teeth. Mouthguards are essential for any sport that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth and will help ensure that your teeth are not damaged should you experience a strong physical force against your mouth. While it’s commonly seen in contact sports such as boxing, football or ice hockey, even non-contact sports such as gymnastics or skateboarding can be a good reason for the use of mouthguards.
However, mouthguards aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution because everyone’s mouth shape and size are different. This is why custom mouthguards are a fantastic solution for anyone that is heavily invested in their sport or activity of choice.
Sports mouthguards are made to be thick and brittle to protect the teeth as best as possible. While they do offer a lot of protection, they can be quite uncomfortable to use on a daily basis. On the other hand, over-the-counter mouthguards are often thinner and made of a pliable plastic that can suit more mouth types. These are generally more comfortable but still do not offer the same level of protection as a custom sports mouthguard. This is also because they’re used to prevent teeth from grinding against each other and not so much to protect your teeth during a contact sport.
In order to make an over-the-counter mouthguard fit well, they’re boiled for a certain amount of time which makes the plastic pliable. Once it has been heated, the mouthguard is placed in the mouth and gently bitten down on. This helps the plastic mold around the wearer’s teeth, creating a perfect fit. Since the plastic is fairly thin on an over-the-counter mouthguard, it’s not unusual to bite too hard and break the mouthguard, especially if it’s fairly cheap.
To conclude, over-the-counter and sports mouthguards are accessible and easy to find. They’re also affordable and quick to fit, making them a great option for most people. However, there are many advantages of a custom mouthguard that should be considered especially if you’re heavily invested in the activity or sport that requires the use of one.
In comparison, custom mouthguards come with all of the advantages of over-the-counter and sports mouthguards but also make up for flaws in the way they’re constructed.
For starters, the materials used in a custom mouthguard are far superior, leading to better protection for your teeth. It also ensures that the overall shape of the mouthguard isn’t affected. Over-the-counter mouthguards tend to lose their shape over time due to the pliable plastic used. This means they need to be replaced quite soon which results in constant purchases. In contrast, a custom mouthguard only needs to be purchased once since it will not lose its shape. The only time a custom mouthguard needs to be replaced is if they are physically damaged from wear and tear or if there are changes in the wearer’s teeth.
Since custom mouthguards are made to fit your teeth better while also being made from better materials, it helps to protect your teeth during contact sports while also preventing your teeth from grinding. This results in a much more complete solution to safeguard your teeth.
In order to get custom mouthguards, it’s important to speak to your dentist and request it. The dentist will first take an impression of your teeth by using dental putty. Unlike over-the-counter mouthguards that form to the shape of your tooth line, dental putty forms to all of the crevices in your teeth and creates an accurate mould of your smile. This mould is then used to create the mouthguard using an extremely durable plastic that makes it tough, comfortable to wear and easy to clean.
Since custom mouthguards are made to a very high degree of accuracy, they can provide you with the best comfort and safety when compared with sports mouthguards and over-the-counter ones. Since it fits snug against your teeth, it will be far more comfortable, it will prevent excess movement that could loosen the fit, and it won’t lose its shape over time.
Custom mouthguards involve a lot more work than over-the-counter ones so they do cost more. You’ll also need to book an appointment with your dentist, so it’s not a quick solution if you’re simply looking for a mouthguard for the weekend. However, since they last much longer than over-the-counter mouthguards, it’s worth the investment if you’re heavily involved in contact sports or other activities that require a mouthguard.
Since custom mouthguards are made to last, it’s important to understand how to care for them in order to make them last longer. Thankfully, this is a fairly straightforward process and it comes second-nature after the first couple of days.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your custom mouthguard lasts a very long time and continues to be safe to use. Should you see any damage or be concerned about bacteria buildup, your dentist will be able to help you examine them more thoroughly.
At Chappaqua Dentistry, we offer our patients in and around Westchester a comprehensive custom mouthguard service. From forming the dental putty mold to helping you maintain them, we’re more than happy to offer our assistance to ensure that you get a reliable custom mouthguard that offers you peace of mind during your sport or activity of choice. Simply schedule an appointment and our team be happy to help you protect your smile!